Reports: Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak hospitalized, gravely ill


Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is wheeled out of the courtroom after his trial in Cairo June 2, 2012. (Photo by Reuters.)

Hosni Mubarak, the long-time leader of Egypt, was hospitalized after his heart stopped beating Tuesday evening, various reports say.

Initial reports were that he was "clinically dead," according to Egyptian officials and various news reports, but other officials soon walked that back and said, instead, that he was unconcious and on a respirator.

Mubarak's health crisis comes after he was sentenced to life in prison June 2 in connection with the death of pro-Democracy protests that ultimately forced him from power last year.

According to the Associated Press, Mubarak's heart stopped beating Tuesday evening and wasn't responding to defibrillation. In recent days, Mubarak has reportedly had at least one stroke and has had his heart stop beating several times in recent weeks.

The long-time leader's dramatic decline in health, and reports of his death, caused such intense interest that the website of Egypt's officla MENA news agency crashed from all of the simultaneous requests for information.

Video: Tahrir Square crowd reacts to reports of death of Hosni Mubarak.

According to Reuters, which was one of the first western news outlets to report Mubarak's "clinical death," Mubarak died a short time after being transferred to the Maadi military hospital. Later Tuesday, however, Reuters cited a source in Egypt saying it was "premature" to say Mubarak had died. Rather, Reuters said, he was unconcious and on a respirator.

The BBC said, quoting Nile TV, that efforts were continuing to revive Mubarak, which is why reports of his death were quickly disputed by Egyptian officials. A top-ranking military official in Egypt called Mubarak's condition "critical."

Mubarak's health declined long before his conviction. He, in fact, attended some court sessions in a gurney.

Mubarak was president of Egypt from 1981 until his ouster in 2011. He helped develop ties with Israel, but also navigated Egypt's return to the Arab League, which suspended Egypt after Anwar Sadat concluded a peace treaty with Israel.

Mubarak also developed close ties with the United States that helped him almost up until his ouster from power in 2011. Ultimately, though, the United States found it had to distance itself from him and he was deposed a short time later.